Outside of community college campus building with many windows

Top 10 Reasons to Study at a Community College

From saving money to testing the waters to transferring with ease, there are many benefits to attending or starting out a community college.

There are many reasons why students might not be as interested in the four-year undergraduate experience—maybe you aren’t sure what you want to study yet, your goals don’t require a traditional college path, or you need to save money to attend your dream school. In any case, attending a community college can be a great opportunity for you to learn more about yourself and gather skills and credits that can help you transfer to other programs. Here are the top 10 reasons to attend community college.

1. Less expensive

Traditional four-year college can cost a lot—tens of thousands of dollars for just one year of tuition. Average yearly tuition for community colleges in the US is approximately $5,340 for in-state students, according to the Community College Review. This huge cost difference can be a relief for your (or your parents') wallet. During your time on a community college campus, you could save money then transfer and enroll in a four-year program down the road.

Related: How You Can Save Money by Transferring Colleges

2. Good for testing the waters

“Community college is a brilliant way to ease yourself into higher education. You can learn more about the experience and get a better understanding of whether you’re the right person for higher education,” says Lena Alonso, a marketing professional at Australia2write. “Community college can help you make a decision whether you want to invest money in college or not.”

3. Financial aid and scholarships

Loans and aid aren’t just for four-year colleges. You can get financial aid through the FAFSA for community college as well, as long as you make sure you don’t drop out of your classes and take the minimum amount of credit hours required (check with your school’s financial aid office for specific requirements). And don’t forget about scholarships—many national and institutional awards are available for community college and transfer students, like Phi Theta Kappa scholarships.

4. Healthy school-life balance

Many adult students or people who already have families enroll in community college because they can take only a few classes at a time and have more time for family and other responsibilities. This is a great opportunity for you if you want to make sure that you don’t neglect other aspects of your life.

Related: How to Find Balance as a Working Student

5. Support for STEM careers

“Many community colleges are really supportive of STEM careers and offer associate degrees in these subjects because they are in high demand,” says George Bennett, a Marketer at Britstudent. “This can help students find better jobs.”

6. A real college experience

You might assume that community colleges don’t offer the same student life experience as traditional colleges do, but this has changed. Many community colleges now offer dorms, networking opportunities, scholarships, and extracurriculars to enhance life on campus.

7. Online classes

You can also take online classes through community colleges if you prefer to learn that way. This is a good option for those who work odd hours or want an opportunity to learn at a pace that suits them best. Online classes are convenient for people who can’t attend regular classes and are a convenient way to earn credits to apply to four-year programs in the future.

Related: Pros and Cons of an Online College Education

8. More personal attention

Community colleges offer smaller classes than traditional four-year schools, which means you’ll get more personalized attention from professors. This is especially helpful if you like to learn at your own pace and don’t want to be just another face in the crowd. Many traditional colleges boast low student-faculty ratios, but their introductory courses may be large, lecture-style classes, which offer almost no personalized attention.

9. Certificates in popular industries

Great career opportunities are usually related to traditional colleges, but community colleges offer valuable certificate opportunities and associate degrees that can help you get amazing jobs too. These include many industries and niches like technology, engineering, and more.

10. Transfer agreements

Community college doesn’t have to be your final educational destination—in fact, many community colleges have agreements with local colleges and universities to help students apply their community college credits to their desired four-year programs. Articulation agreements are a great opportunity for you to get the best out of your education and can make the transfer process more seamless.

Related: Want an Ivy League Degree? Consider Community College First

Community colleges offer great opportunities for people from many different backgrounds and with different needs. You can learn and have that college experience, take online classes, gather credits to transfer to a traditional four-year college, and save money in the process. Consider these perks when deciding on your future education!

Explore thousands of two- and four-year colleges on CollegeXpress with our College Search tool.

Like what you’re reading?

Join the CollegeXpress community! Create a free account and we’ll notify you about new articles, scholarship deadlines, and more.

Join Now


About Katrina Hatchett

Katrina is an education blogger involved in various educational projects. Her main aim is to define project problems and propose solutions as well as improve overall communication effectiveness. In her free time, she likes to help high school students make decisions on their future based on their interests.


Join our community of
over 5 million students!

CollegeXpress has everything you need to simplify your college search, get connected to schools, and find your perfect fit.

Join CollegeXpress
Abhishek Kumar

Abhishek Kumar

High School Class of 2022

As a high schooler, I know how hard it is to plan for college. You have to consider a lot of factors: SAT/ACT scores, college searches, scholarships, and more. CollegeXpress has been a helpful resource that solves all these problems. One can easily create a free account and search away. They help you search for scholarships and colleges, they have graduate program search, they have lists and rankings, and so much more. CX also has a lot of articles and advice to read—whether it’s financial aid, test prep, campus visits, internships/careers, or anything. Not only that, CX gives out free scholarship money to students who sign up and create a free CX account. I love CX and will continue to use it! Thank you CollegeXpress for making my college journey easier!

Kory Gilbertson

Kory Gilbertson

High School Class of 2022

CollegeXpress has helped me explore my views on college in that "why do I wanna go to a certain school" way. It’s helped me explore the best fits in all of these outstanding choices. All these college admission counselors can access my accolades showing them how I could help their college. This source of information helps me show these admission directors who I am and what I'm interested in. Thanks to this platform, my experience for education will be better than most, and I'm so grateful for all that it has provided for me.

Leah Maciel

Leah Maciel

High School Class of 2021

CollegeXpress has helped me with all aspects of applying for college. The website is extremely easy to navigate and gives access to so many resources. I was able to research all of the colleges I was interested in, find out any information I wished to know about, and keep them organized in a list. I've also been able to research scholarships and save them as resources for later. I've used many websites in my college and scholarship search, and CollegeXpress has by far been my favorite one to use.

Caitlin Eaton

Caitlin Eaton

$10,000 Scholarship Winner, 2021

I first discovered CollegeXpress during my sophomore year of high school while researching colleges that interested me. My SAT prep class the following year further familiarized me with the opportunities available through the organization. CX has personally helped me by exposing me to a diverse selection of schools as well as scholarships and life tips that have provided valuable guidance in my college search.

This scholarship will help me adjust to college life without worrying as much about tuition. This gives me more room to truly explore and benefit from all aspects of higher education. I plan to study Conservation Biology and work protecting species/ecosystems. I’m looking forward to getting field experience and seeing firsthand the problems research is solving.

Rayan Hamdan

Rayan Hamdan

High School Student

I joined CollegeXpress just a few months ago. I had been struggling with severe anxiety, causing me to not be able to tour schools and make sure a college would be perfect for me. I came across CollegeXpress one day when I was searching for colleges online, and it completely changed the game. I was easily able to choose colleges that would suit me, and I also entered a few giveaways! Thank you so much!

College Matches

Colleges You May Be Interested In

Kean University

Union, NJ

Rowan University

Glassboro, NJ

Drew University

Madison, NJ

Hofstra University

Hempstead, NY